July 16, 2012
True Scholarship takes courage
This book excited me and I enjoyed reading, parts. But as a Muslim I was quite disturbed by the false reports of Prophet Muhammad having killed a woman for writing poetry and him not contributing to anything in the manner of women. The narration of the killing of the poetess is regarded as a false testimony among Muslim Scholars and only has 2 sources in Islamic Literature, none of which can be traced back to a reliable source. This is not uncommon among historical biographies though I am sure some readers will believe me biased. Reports the like of these were generated by people around Muhammad that did not like him or wanted to supplant his mission. And happily picked up by those looking for ammunition, no matter how erroneous and vindictive. Granted this book was written in the 1900s and the writer is Christian explains in some part. But scholarship of this low quality is still apparent today. The "truth" is presented carte blanche and viewed as historical fact unbeknownst to the reader. Muhammad forbade cutting down trees, destroying crops, killing women, children or the elderly. On another occasion upon hearing of a woman being killed during a battle, forbade the killing of women, children and the elderly. Two independent authentic narrations open to any student of history. This applied in and out of war conditions.
These are historical facts, related to present the truth, not to proselytize. Adding them would have added to the beauty of this text:
- His people buried female infants alive before he came. He abhorred and on one occasion, wept at hearing about this practice, and it was abolished in the Quran and on the entire Arabian peninsula before his death. Still practiced today by various eastern and western societies under more discreet terminology.
-Muhammads first wife Khadijah was a wealthy trader who asked for his hand in marriage. She voluntarily spent all of her wealth supporting Islam when there was no one else. She was also the first to believe in his message.
- Women had rights in Islam, to earn their own money, property and spend it as they pleased.
- Forced Marriages were abolished
- Muhammad taught that women were regarded exactly as the author wrote, they were not property but companions and helpers in this life. Men were required to support them and not to annoy them. "The best of you are those who are best to your wives" -Muhammad
Muhammads wives treated him as any wife would treat her husband. They played with him, consulted him and on some occasions even advised him. He never struck any one of them and they loved him very dearly out of respect and not fear. This behavior is unprecedented for any possessor of great power, in the past present or future.
All this happened 1300 years before the author wrote this text. Please support truth. Thanks for reading.